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PCI Compliance in the Construction Industry

Is your construction business PCI compliant? The answer to that question may be more important than you think.
April 11, 2024
Miniatures of CSI/police on top of credit cards
Does your construction or LBM company ever handle credit cards? Since this is the 21st century, the answer will invariably be “yes.” While credit cards have made payment processing easier than ever, there are certain requirements some companies may be overlooking, particularly those referred to as the PCI DSS. What does PCI DSS stand for? PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, a set of ordinances issued by the PCI Security Standards Council. These regulations help ensure any companies who handle sensitive financial data have the proper security protocols in place to protect their customers from data breaches or fraud, especially when it comes to Card-Not-Present transactions. The PCI Security Standards Council identifies six key areas companies must concentrate on if they are to be in compliance with PCI DSS, including...
  1. Build and maintain a secure network and systems, including firewalls and secure, unique passwords.
  2. Protect cardholder data with secure storage as well as transmission encryption. This can also involve masking account numbers when displayed.
  3. Maintain a vulnerability management program by protecting against malware, updating anti-virus software, and maintaining secure systems.
  4. Implement strong access control measures by restricting cardholder data access to necessary personnel, using unique IDs for system access, and restricting physical access.
  5. Regularly monitor and test networks by monitoring network and data access and regularly testing overall security.
  6. Maintain an information security policy that is disseminated to all personnel along with mandatory training.
While this may seem overwhelming, not adhering to PCI standards will open businesses up to a myriad of problems. Noncompliance could result in penalties and fines from credit card companies themselves, totaling up to millions of dollars in financial losses. A resulting data breach brought about by noncompliance could also result in lawsuits and high legal costs. Endangering your customers’ credit card security erodes the relationship you’ve established with your clientele, resulting in loss of business and damage to your reputation. And while cleaning up after a data breach, something that PCI standards guard against, your business will be forced to invest heavily in remediation efforts, like bolstering cybersecurity and providing identity theft protection services to those affected. Construction companies and LBM dealers in particular must safeguard themselves against these potential pitfalls by implementing a few specific measures. All payments on-site or in-store must be PCI compliant, and any information shared during invoicing or purchasing must be similarly protected. Employee training in particular is highly recommended, especially since they will be the ones handling most purchases and could be a main target for potential fraud. Companies must also ensure that any third-party vendors are PCI compliant as well, maintaining a secure environment for all activities pertaining to credit card transactions. PCI compliance may seem daunting, but with the right partnerships and protocols in place, construction companies and LBM dealers can make sure they keep both their and their customers’ data safe. Noncompliance and subsequent data breaches can be costly, for both your company’s finances and reputation. As PCI DSS 4.0’s deadline passes, be sure you've familiarized yourself with any new requirements and safeguarded you and your customers’ future security.
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